Daily Trojan Horse | Students not eligible for federal financial aid will not receive emergency aid
USC students who are not eligible for a federal loan or grant will not be able to access federal emergency funds under the Higher Education Emergency Assistance Fund Act. Aid, Relief and Economic Security, intended to help students facing hardship due to the pandemic, according to a new set of guidelines issued by US Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos.
The University received $ 19.3 million of the $ 6.3 billion allocated to colleges and universities by the stimulus package approved by President Donald Trump last month. Of the $ 9.6 million of its mandated student funds, none will go to students who have already been convicted of drugs, have not achieved satisfactory academic progress, or are considered international, online, on time. partial or undocumented.
Instead, USC administrators redirect students who are not eligible for funding to USC’s Student Basic Needs Relief Fund, to which all currently enrolled undergraduate and graduate students. part-time and full-time are eligible.
“This fund is available for students experiencing financial difficulties that jeopardize their success or continued enrollment at USC and who have exhausted all other resources,” read the USC Frequently Asked Questions page. concerning the CARES law. “Examples may include, but are not limited to, dental / medical costs, housing costs and unexpected job loss. “
Only students eligible for Title IV, as stated by the Higher Education Act of 1965, can receive emergency financial aid grants, under new federal guidelines. Students who have filed or can file a FAFSA are eligible for the grant.
“The criteria for participating in programs under Section 484 of the HEA include, but are not limited to, the following: US citizenship or qualifying non-citizen; a valid social security number; registration for the Selective Service (if the student is male); and a high school diploma, GED or high school diploma in an approved homeschool setting, ”the new guidelines said.
The CARES Act will aim to provide emergency grants for housing, food, course materials, health care and childcare to students who have been affected by the pandemic. Funding will be coordinated by the financial aid office, in cooperation with student affairs and campus support and intervention, once USC receives funding from the Department of Education.
“USC is grateful for the funds we have received from the CARES Act,” the university said in a statement to Daily Trojan Horse. “We are in desperate need of these emergency funds and we will push 100% of them to support our students who are experiencing financial difficulties. Our goal is to help as many students and families as possible meet their financial demands during this disruptive time. “
USC encourages eligible students to apply and provide documentation by May 1 due to the limited funding available under the CARES Act. The maximum scholarship is $ 3,000 and will not affect student financial assistance.
“The total funds available are limited,” reads the FAQ page. “The university’s priority is to help as many students as possible, especially those who need it most, get through this academic year.
For those applying to USC Student Basic Needs Relief Fund, the maximum scholarship is $ 750. Students can receive the scholarship once per semester. Students can apply by email to set up a Zoom meeting to discuss qualifications and will receive notification of their approval within two weeks. The funds will be paid into student accounts.
Aside from the new guidelines, the CARES Act does not specify how much money is to be set aside per student, although it does require that 50% of the money allocated to each university be spent on emergency aid. to students linked to the campus disruption, according to DeVos’ letter. to university presidents earlier this month. The letter also proposed using the maximum federal funding from the Pell Grant, approximately $ 6,000, as the maximum funding each student can receive.
“The CARES Act gives institutions significant discretion over how to allocate this emergency aid to students,” the letter said. “This means that each institution can develop its own system and process for determining how to allocate these funds, which may include distributing funds to all students or only to students who demonstrate significant need. “
The CARES Act school allowances were determined by a fixed formula that took into consideration the number of full-time students who are eligible for the Pell grant. The calculation also took into account the size of the student body, including those who were not enrolled full-time before the pandemic.
Students eligible for funding through the University’s Higher Education Emergency Relief Fund grant are encouraged to apply as a primary resource, using the Emergency Relief Fund. for basic student needs of USC and other services when all other funds are exhausted.
Departments and schools have also set up their own emergency aid for students, such as the Marshall Student Emergency Aid Fund and the Graduate Student Government Emergency Fund Program. These funds will be distributed taking into account existing student financial aid, although the University has said it will strive to preserve pre-existing sources of financial aid. Students who receive departmental or school funding are still eligible for the Higher Education Emergency Aid Fund, although they will not receive funding for the same expenses more than once.
According to the website, USC is reviewing applications for the Higher Education Emergency Assistance Fund as quickly as possible to process student requests and allocate funds. Students are encouraged to consult the Financial Aid Summary and Tasks in Their Account page for requests for additional documents. Students will receive an email when their application is processed. If funding is approved, grants will go to student accounts through eRefund on USCe.pay.